Wordpress, Wix, Shopify, Squarespace, and BigCommerce—there are tons of website builders out there and they work fine for average non-technical users looking to quickly get a personal website up and running. But for businesses and anyone looking for something resembling professional use, there's a better solution.
Enter Webflow. You may not have heard of it, so you might be skeptical of its reputation compared to its mainstream competitors. Webflow is a newer (founded in 2013), modern website platform that's changing the industry for designers and site owners. It's based on data driven design, not templates or plugins, and doesn't require any code.
You're probably thinking to yourself that some other platforms don't require any code as well and you're absolutely right. Designing and building a website with or without code is one facet of a platform. The ease of use, development, the level of flexibility, customization, and user experience are additional facets that contribute to your satisfaction or dissatisfaction in using the platform.
This is where Webflow shines. It's a platform that gives you limitless design freedom and complete control over your business website design. It has a simple and intuitive editing experience that makes it easy to add and update content. Update blog posts and pictures, right on your site without relying on a developer.
Design Freedom Without Code
Professionally and personally, We've used Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify. They are platforms that allow different levels of customization, but they're terrible to edit, can be sluggish, and require coding for complex features.
This presents an unmatched ability to design and customize anything at will. Websites these days are becoming more engaging with animations. If you wanted to customize scroll based interactions for example, achieving this same level of intricacy in Wordpress or Shopify will require coding. If you are not an experienced developer, you'll have to hire one.
Users of template based platforms are often restricted by purchased templates and customizing them requires adding plugins or manually editing underlying template files. This is treacherous territory for non-developers. Webflow isn't based on templates or plugins, so you can design everything the way you want. And yes, it's SEO friendly.
You know that creating responsive layouts is necessary. This is where Webflow shines. One of the biggest reasons we are impressed with Webflow is because we can hide existing content, add new, and edit all elements—layouts, grids, flex boxes, typography, images, and more, for specific device views. This critical functionality is severely lacking in Wix and Shopify in particular, which primarily only allow you to view and hide elements (not design) for desktop and mobile portrait views only, nothing in between.
Want a mobile specific button, font, or color that will appear on mobile portrait but not mobile landscape? Takes a few clicks in Webflow. How about a specific image or animation to appear on tablet only, or for your content to stack in a different order from laptop to mobile? This is all possible without any code or plugins.
Compared to traditional coding methods, custom sites in Webflow can be developed 3–4x faster. This saves you tremendous time, and time = money. In contrast to notoriously bloated markup produced by Wordpress and Shopify themes, Webflow's code is cleanly written behind the scenes and can be instantly deployed. But you don’t ever have to look at it.
On-Page Editing Without Compromising its Design
Have you ever had to contact your designer/developer every time you wanted to make an update to your site? Wouldn’t it be easier if you could edit the content yourself and see how it looked right away? Webflow allows you to do just that; no need to navigate through convoluted dashboards, FTP, or cPanel, no need to worry about breaking your site.
This capability is thanks to its user-friendly CMS (content management system)—adding new blog posts or products is as simple as editing a Google doc. Webflow's CMS is visual, allowing you to customize the structure that your content needs, as opposed to fitting your content to a premade CMS template.
See how easy and straightforward it is to edit content right on the site in Webflow:
No plugins = No Frustration
For those of you familiar with Shopify or Wordpress, you know they rely heavily on third-party plugins. With that comes a plethora of ways for your site to break because they are being updated left and right and different plugin versions may be incompatible with others. Managing these plugins is extremely frustrating.
You can kiss that frustration goodbye with Webflow, because there are no plugins. No plugins to slow down your site, no setups or system installs to worry about, and no database errors. It still integrates with common free and paid services, such as Mailchimp, Zapier, Facebook, and Google, and you get free SSL security. Backed by Amazon's infrastructure, you can bet your site will be secure and quicker to load.
The cost of a Webflow is on par with Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify. A single site subscription can be as low as $12/mo. or $29/mo. for ecommerce. Integrating with leading payment providers such as Stripe and PayPal are free. There's no need to purchase templates or additional plugins.
If you want to connect to other services like Mailchimp or Calendly etc., those will have their own associated costs.
Long Term Value
A big value-add we provide our clients is a “Client-First” scalable design system. To get a tiny bit technical, that means we design with an organized CSS system that lets you and your team (even beginners or marketers) scale your site and build new pages. It’s organized and allows you to manage your site’s style system—colors, fonts, spacing, etc. And you'll always be able to change the design of your site without coding or buying a template (although you could).
Since discovering Webflow, we have never looked back and couldn't be any happier. Maintaining websites is a breeze, and our clients get to envision their site without restriction. Whether it be a custom checkout experience or a business portfolio, Webflow is the most flexible, scalable, and a great time saver. Is Webflow perfect? Of course not!
We’re passionate about website platforms because we’re designers dedicated to building healthy relationships and delivering long term, quality, products to our clients.
Webflow has exceptionally powerful features. Our goal is to work alongside you to capture your vision and bring your project to fruition.
If you're a small to medium-sized business owner looking to leverage Webflow's professional features, get started by contacting us below.
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